20 thoughts on “Lee Strobel – What are the odds that Jesus fulfills just 8 prophecies in the Tanach?

  1. B”H
    It’s not even clear he was a descendant of David as there are two contradictory accounts of his genealogy in the gospels of Mathew and Luke.
    By the way while there are standard apologetics regarding the above contradiction honest Christian scholars are forced to admit that these apologetics are not satisfactory. See bellow a correspondence between Prof. Keleman and the church (including the scans of original letters):
    The Catholic Church’s Response
    to Our Critique of Christian Credibility

    Because Christianity offers the second-most credible claim of any world religion, we opted to provide its most traditional branch — the Catholic Church — with an opportunity to respond to some of our critical observations. In early December, 1995, we forwarded the following three questions to Pope John Paul II:

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christian_Credibility.htm

    • Ariel you need to stop looking at the R C church for truth they have lied for almost 2,000 years. Just read the bible the truth is in their get a good version like the NIV, MKJ or NLT God bless you in your search

    • Unfortunately for the Catholics, their Bible colleges seem to be full of modern day Sadducees, people who no longer believe in Inspiration or the Supernatural.
      For a modern day analogy of what you’ve actually accomplished, it would be like asking a liberal Jewish politician (a Rahm Emanuel) to give a definitive assessment or the final word on the existence of the modern state of Israel.

      • I think I may have gotten a little too overzealous in my apologetic fervor. First it looks like I’m trying to throw the Catholics under the bus (and there’s many I respect. and in a sense I hope the label is not the ultimate essence of a man, but whether he is a new Creation or not), and then I’m not really answering Ariel’s arguments.

        I felt I should apologize, I was having a bad attitude.

        The supposition that one genealogy represents the genealogy through the father. and one through the mother I also find plausible.

  2. B”H
    Cristian, it is wise to accept the truth from whoever is saying it.
    Please read the information in the link above and comment if you have something substantive to say regarding its content not where it comes from.
    If ones “supernatural inspiration” moves one to believe blatant falsehood it doesn’t come from G-d because “the seal of G-d is truth”

    • Ariel, I appreciate your sharing what you think is a genuine problem with the geneology of Jesus. Fortunately there is no probem. There are two blood lines – maternal and paternal – and both are listed. Why? Because Messiah was virigin born and without human father, so the mother’s line is also listed.

      I also share concerns with the RC church, and doubt many of the faithful are truly saved, though some are. That makes all their scholoarship suspect. On the otherhand, I keep open to all sources and let the evidence itself speak. One must filter out the noise or winnow chaff.

      Cheers.

  3. >>>it is wise to accept the truth from whoever is saying it.

    In like manner it is wise to reject falsehood from whoever is saying it. Case in point… the following:

    >>> It’s not even clear he was a descendant of David as there are two contradictory accounts of his genealogy in the gospels of Mathew and Luke.

    Ken observes this is a typical — and possibly deliberate — misunderstanding, which has long ago been accounted for. Glad to offer this helpful observation.

  4. >>> By the way while there are standard apologetics regarding the above contradiction honest Christian scholars are forced to admit that these apologetics are not satisfactory

    Ken–

    Chirstian scholar, eh? That’s like saying the Nazis proved eugenics accurate. Maybe they are right, but you wouldn’t call them accredited and genuine scientists. In like manner for those who are so inclined, they may investigate the pros and cons of the geneological matter without calling a Catholic a Christian.

    Then again I have to be open to that possiblilty… just as I have to admit that maybe the Nazi eugenics experts really were accredited. What do you think?

  5. B”H
    Ken writes:
    Chirstian scholar, eh? That’s like saying the Nazis proved eugenics accurate.

    This a typical stupid argument popularly known as Reductio ad Hitlerum is an ad hominem or ad misericordiam argument, and is an informal fallacy. It is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context. Hence this fallacy fails to examine the claim on its merit. click here to read more about it
    PS. If you would be working at a bank would you give a loan to someone who presents two identification documents with his picture but different names in them?
    What kind of explanation would you accept from him to convince you to trust him risking banks money your job?
    What if the money your are loaning is yours or you have to borrow it 1st before loaning it to the person with 2 contradictory IDs what kind of apologetics would suffice in such case?
    If not why would you gamble your eternal life on the same type of flimsy claim?

  6. Actually I was trying to craft an argument in your favor. Keep open to truth no matter what the source. Agreed.

    Claim RCs are per se true Christians, disagree.

    Those are two separate issues. Now the third issue is one you may ponder. A suspect source may draw unreasonable conclusions when known reasonable sources draw opposite conclusions.

    I was trying to help you out by getting people to consider your RC source as if it were truly credible, but then I guess you missed it. See what happens when you try to do a good deed?

    Anyway the right response to this subset of Lee Stroebel’s remarks is discuss the content of evangelical scholarship versus RC or non-Christian scholarship. Just a suggestion. If you want to persuade Bible-believers, you don’t have much clout quoting or referring to RC sources by ARGUMENTS FROM AUTHORITY… their RC authority, that is.

    Bonus Trivia Question: Have you ever been to a large city in Israel? Is it true they have coffee houses on every block but no Starbucks?

  7. B”H
    You are not adding anything to the conversation.
    Go and read this 1st :

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christian_Credibility.htm

    and talk substance

    If you have nothing to say on the subject just admit it. If you are ashamed to do that then remain quiet and pray that a bigger chocham than you might appear and try to prove how 2+2=5

    PS. If this will help you concentrate on the subject please go to Starbucks and drink some coffee:-)
    Don’t try to evade the issues by asking irrelevant trivia questions.

    • From your link–

      Brown goes even further, calling into question the reliability of large sections of the New Testament.

      Brown’s most extreme statement in this regard, appearing in the same essay, suggests that the Pope himself might reject the historicity of the resurrection altogether

      He stresses that Christian writings about virginal conception intend to reveal spiritual insights rather that physical facts.

      Brown makes clear that the post-resurrection appearance accounts are creative, substantially non-historical attempts to reconstruct events never witnessed by their respective authors.

      Brown explains that Matthew probably created fictional genealogical links back to Abraham and David also “to appeal to the mixed constituency of his [Matthew’s] community of Jewish and Gentile Christians

      Need I quote more? You see Brown is not one of us. If you want to impress with scholarship, cite both sides and let them address each other. This has been done.

      I doubt that you have taken the time to do this! Rather you are copying a proof text version of a website. I am not impressed.
      ===

      Now back to Lee Stroebel. Feel free to discuss these miraculous fulfillments and analyze why Jesus either is or is not Messiah, the only God-man ever to fulfill all.
      ===

      And for the record I prefer Caribou flavored coffees. Starbucks does not flavor its beverages, but offers a variety of coffees from around the world with more subtle variations in taste.

      And let us consider the presence of those Christian-Jewish coffee houses. Did you know some offer FREE COFFEE and FREE INTERNET! Oy vey, that’s got to be illegal. :-)

    • From the website you provided, we read the following information which discredits your source as unrealiable while failing to provide any useful information. All the site does provide are unfounded conclusions and mistakes. Suggest you don’t pass off opinions as facts.

      >>> Brown makes clear that the post-resurrection appearance accounts are creative, substantially non-historical attempts to reconstruct events never witnessed by their respective authors.

      >>> Brown explains that Matthew probably created fictional genealogical links back to Abraham and David also “to appeal to the mixed constituency of his [Matthew’s] community of Jewish and Gentile Christians.”

      >>> Brown goes even further, calling into question the reliability of large sections of the New Testament.

      >>> Brown’s most extreme statement in this regard, appearing in the same essay, suggests that the Pope himself might reject the historicity of the resurrection altogether

      >>> Because record of the virginal conception appears only in tow Gospels, and there only in the infancy narratives (which Brown suspects are largely fictional), the Catholic theologian tactfully concludes that “biblical evidence leaves the question of the historicity of the virginal conception unresolved.”

      If you are trying to use an argument from an authority, then you need to get an authority! This is similar to showing up at a gunfight armed only with a knife. :-)

      You see the Roman church has a bias against the authority and historicity of the Bible or any authority superior to that of the pope. I don’t consider their source to be your yourself claimed it to be, namely a “christian” source.

      I strongly suspect that you did not read the source yourself, but instead are cut-and-pasting a proof text link on an anti-missionary website.


      Now in other news, I am enjoying a delicious cup o’ brew atm… vanilla hazelnut. Mmmmm…

  8. What does Starbucks Coffee have to do with Chosen People Ministries eXperience Israel Ministry Tour? Nothing at all, really. Not until I started reading Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz, the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks.

    http://www.chosenpeople.com/main/index.php/component/content/article/39-short-term-ministry/300-experience-israel-and-starbucks

    WHAT JESUS WOULD BREW?

    http://www.coffeeforthechrist.com/

    Teens and Young Adults – Teens are engaged through contemporary music, free concerts, open dances and coffee houses. They are enlisted in people’s homes, in schools or in places of worship and on the street by other teens or trained missionaries. http://www.jcrcny.org/library/spiritual-deception/hebrew-christians.html

    The Gospel Café is really taking off. Each week, we have a high-caliber program, mostly music. We open our doors at 7:30 pm and sometimes don’t close until 2:00 am. Volunteers from various Messianic congregations circulate, getting to know visitors. Our worship services meet in the same building the next day, and we have had success inviting people from the Gospel Café to visit our services as well.

    http://www.chosenpeople.com/main/index.php/ministry-news/60-ministry-news/434-th

    Israel prohibits Christian Jews from becoming citizens. It also forbids any Christian—whether Jew or Gentile—from sharing Christianity with a minor or even buying an adult Jew a cup of coffee in the course of their religious discussion!

    http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/christianjewsarrestedisrael.htm

  9. Regarding the Mashiakh:

    ”There is an unequivocal criteria for discerning the Mashiakhַ or a navi ( lit. “the one bringing”; i.e., a prophet; one who calls, proclaims, prophesies): Dәvâr•im′ 13.1-6. תּוֹרָה (Torah) sets forth the acid test, whether the alleged Mashiakh ( מָשִׁיחַ) or נָבִיא (navi) advocates to keep, or displace, תּוֹרָה. Partial (i.e., selective) observance entails rejection of מִצווֹת (mitzwot; commandments) that are non-selected, which is rejection of תּוֹרָה in its indivisible whole. There is no middle ground.”

    ( Quote “1993 covenant” by Paqid Yirmeyahu Ben Dawid (found here: http://www.netzarim.co.il) (slightly edited by me).

    Le-havdil, A logical analysis (found in http://www.netzarim.co.il (Netzarim.co.il is the website of the only legitimate Netzarim-group)) (including the logical implications of the research by Ben-Gurion Univ. Prof. of Linguistics Elisha Qimron of Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT) of all extant source documents of “the gospel of Matthew” and archeology proves that the historical Ribi Yehosuha ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth and his talmidim (apprentice-students), called the Netzarim, taught and lived Torah all of their lives; and that Netzarim and Christianity were always antithetical.

    One mitzwah is Torah is subordination to a beit-din. Those whom want to follow Ribi Yehoshua must subordinate to the beit-din ha-Netzarim.

    The Christian Jzus of the “gospels” contradicts Torah with his words in several instances.

    Conclusion, the Christian Jzus didn’t fullfill the Messianic prophecies; le-havdil, the historical Ribi Yehoshua did.

    Anders Branderud

  10. Ariel
    From the website you provided, we read the following information which discredits your source as unrealiable while failing to provide any useful information. All the site does provide are unfounded conclusions and mistakes. Suggest you don’t pass off opinions as facts.

    >>> Brown makes clear that the post-resurrection appearance accounts are creative, substantially non-historical attempts to reconstruct events never witnessed by their respective authors.

    >>> Brown explains that Matthew probably created fictional genealogical links back to Abraham and David also “to appeal to the mixed constituency of his [Matthew’s] community of Jewish and Gentile Christians.”

    >>> Brown goes even further, calling into question the reliability of large sections of the New Testament.

    >>> Brown’s most extreme statement in this regard, appearing in the same essay, suggests that the Pope himself might reject the historicity of the resurrection altogether

    >>> Because record of the virginal conception appears only in tow Gospels, and there only in the infancy narratives (which Brown suspects are largely fictional), the Catholic theologian tactfully concludes that “biblical evidence leaves the question of the historicity of the virginal conception unresolved.”

    If you are trying to use an argument from an authority, then you need to get an authority! This is similar to showing up at a gunfight armed only with a knife. :-)

    You see the Roman church has a bias against the authority and historicity of the Bible or any authority superior to that of the pope. I don’t consider their source to be your yourself claimed it to be, namely a “christian” source.

    I strongly suspect that you did not read the source yourself, but instead are cut-and-pasting a proof text link on an anti-missionary website.


    Now in other news, I am enjoying a delicious cup o’ brew atm… vanilla hazelnut. Mmmmm…

  11. “Examine the prophecies for yourself and calculate the probability of one person fulfilling all of them.” I’ve heard this before, and as someone who’s taken graduate-level courses in probability and statistics, I find these “What are the odds?” exercises rather embarrassing. How do you calculate the probability of someone fulfilling a prophecy? It’s fine to think about, but assigning actual probabilities (i.e. 1 in 1 billion or whatever) essentially comes to pulling numbers out of the air.

    The Amazon.com review of Dr. Stoner’s book seems to corroborate this: “these ‘probability’ estimates were simply obtained by asking students in a class on Christian Evidences at the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Pasadena City College to make estimates. Few of them—expect perhaps the estimate of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem—have much of a ‘factual’ basis, other than conjecture.”

    While Stoner, Stroble, McDowell, and others have every right to see their estimation of the low likelihood of one person fulfilling all these OT prophecies as a confirmation of Jesus’s Messiahship, dressing this idea up in pseudo-scientific garb by assigning made-up probabilities only makes Christians look ignorant to the mathematically informed.

    • A very reasonable reply, Yahn. I’ve often questioned the use of such statistical evidence myself when used by my fellow Christians to illustrate the unlikelihood of evolution. The flaw in the anti-evolutionary argument is that some chemical and physical events are actually very likely given the initial conditions. In fact some scientists actually believe biological evolution is highly likely across the universe.

      How does that relate to Messianic prophetic fulfillment? Messianic prophecy is much more quantifiable as you will agree. For instance how many Jews were born in Jewish approximate birth year? That should be quantifiable. How many of them were born in Bethlehem? That also can be estimated using Roman tax records. See where I am going with this?

      Do your own professional list of precursor questions that must be asked before making a more accurate estimate of the odds of Jesus’ fulfilling all or many of the claimed prophecies. I need more information. Regardless of the answer this endeavor will promote Jewish-Christian dialog and be a lot more fun that wondering about it.

      What if Christians and Jews actually were to AGREE upon the odds? It could happen! I believe the odds would lead one toward acceptance of Messiah’s credibility. That is my opinion, Jahn.

      • Correction–

        For instance how many Jews were born in Jewish approximate birth year? should be

        For instance how many Jews were born in Jesus’ approximate birth year?

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